Air-to-ground voice and data capability for airline comms

20th October 2017
Posted By : Alice Matthews
Air-to-ground voice and data capability for airline comms

The UK-based air traffic management subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, Park Air Systems, is providing next-gen VHF radios to Rockwell Collins for its air-to-ground voice and data link services supplied to airlines and air navigation service providers. Under the contract, Park Air will provide its latest T6 radio from the Sapphire family of products for Rockwell Collins’ growing air-to-ground voice and data link network that delivers airline and civil aviation communications worldwide.

The Park Air T6 radio supports the two key data communication standards – aircraft communications addressing and reporting system, and VHF Data Link Mode 2. This will enable the communication of aeronautical operational control messages and ATC data link programmes such as Controller Pilot Data Link Communication.

These data links form a critical part of the FAA’s Data Communications Programme, under the NextGen initiative, which seeks to reduce delays, improve controller and pilot efficiency, and enhance safety through an advanced data communications infrastructure.

“Our latest T6 radio builds upon many years of experience. It is now one of the most advanced products of its type in the world, with an installed base of users growing significantly each day,” said Danny Milligan, Managing Director, Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems.

The new T6 radio delivers what the company claims to be industry leading performance while also being smaller and lighter than comparable products, allowing Rockwell Collins to install multiple radio channels in half the space of their current radio.

“Rockwell Collins is proactively addressing the growth in air traffic and more data being generated by modern aircraft by expanding the number of VHF ground stations in our network," said Chris Mackey, Director of Aviation Datalink Services. "These radios will help support that initiative by providing additional network capacity for our airline customers."

The T6 radio is designed to meet stringent environmental demands which, as an added benefit, reduces life-cycle operating costs. Significantly lower power consumption not only cuts electricity usage but also allows the use of lower cost on-site power systems. The radio is designed to contain no hazardous material, meaning lower end-of-life disposal costs.

Northrop Grumman’s Park Air Systems supplies communication systems for airspace operations worldwide. Park Air radios can be found in airports in 200 countries around the world.

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